This MSIB covers BOTH Sector New Orleans and MSU Baton Rouge AORs.
As a result of water level predictions continuing to fall, the Captain of the Port (COTP) New Orleans has issued additional low water safety precautions for all waters of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR) from Mile Marker 0.0 to Mile Marker 303 Ahead of Passes (AHP). Previously issued MSIB Volume XXII, Issue 053 and Issue 050 provide additional low water safety guidance and should be reviewed periodically.
Mariners are reminded the sailing line – between Mile Markers 0 – 232 – follows a path through naturally deep water and marked channels situated between the crossings. Low water conditions have significantly reduced water depths in areas of the river outside the sailing line where mariners in the past had sufficient water depth to navigate. In accordance with 33 CFR 164, mariners are required to conduct proper navigation assessments. Mariners should pay particular attention to route planning and water levels and closely review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Condition Surveys prior to their transit.
- Industry representatives should coordinate closely and with due consideration for the extreme low water with River Pilot organizations to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vessels.
- Pilots should maintain safe speeds when transiting in the vicinity of docks, fleeting areas, and other transiting vessels to minimize adverse impacts from the ship’s wake.
- Ports and facilities are strongly encouraged to monitor water depths, to both their docks and approaches. Adjustments to docking procedures or loading and transit parameters should be closely coordinated with and communicated to vessel operators.
- All towing vessels in vicinity of College Town Light (MM 225 to MM 228.3) are advised to keep flat on the bank and provide a wide berth to deep-draft vessel traffic.
- Aids to Navigation discrepancies should be reported to the Sector New Orleans Command Center.
- Mariners should pay close attention to Broadcast Notice Mariners for information or specific hazards along their planned route.
Separately, the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission has instituted a 41’ draft restriction for vessels transiting to or from its berths, North of Mile Marker 228 on the LMR. For more information, please contact Mr. Jay Hardman at (225) 342-1660 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ports and Facilities are requested to report impacted operations due to low water conditions (e.g. reduced drafts, interruptions to mid-stream operations, etc.) to email@example.com.
For further information, contact the following:
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center: (504) 365-2200
Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Waterways Management: (504) 365-2280
Coast Guard MSU Baton Rouge Waterways Management: (225) 298-5400 x230
Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River: (504) 365-2230, VHF FM Ch. 05A, 12, 67